Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finally . . .

It's been a long time since I've had much to say. My mind has been going down a thousand paths trying to focus, to not complain and to be an encourager. Obviously, I've been too busy complaining to focus or to encourage. Guess it's time to catch up.

Tom continues to improve within the parameters that are possible. I listened yesterday as the OT came to evaluate him. I think what he (the therapist) knows about Parkinson's could be put on a pin head. He asked if Tom had a problem with strength and balance and I thought: "Of course he does. He has Parkinson's." Yet, Tom's upper body strength has improved greatly and his endurance increases. Often, he has more than I. He went with me to church on Sunday, to the dentist Monday, sat in the car while I got a haircut Tuesday then we went to Target, to church supper Wednesday and today he wanted to got to Lowe's or Home Depot to buy a mailbox. I asked who we might get to install and he said he thought he'd do it himself. I intentionally didn't make it to the store so he wouldn't get outside with his shovel. He had a good workout with the physical therapist late in the afternoon, but now I see the "tired" on his face.

The tooth saga is finally being resolved. It's about time. Last week when I saw the oncologist, he was surprised I still had tooth problems. Somewhere in all the consultations, someone forgot to let me know the final decision to let me go ahead to fix my tooth. That meant no infusion or complete visit with the doctor, changing to tomorrow. I made an appointment with the dentist, he cleaned out the tooth, put in a temporary filling and is sending me to an oral surgeon next Thursday to have a root canal. After that I'll return to the dentist to have impressions made for a crown, wait a while, and get that put on the tooth. Lots of time in the chair and lots of money taken from our bank account. The best part is I have no tooth pain and ice cream is once again in my diet!!

The time has offically come for us to say "goodbye" to the Humboldt congregation. This past Sunday the Pastor Nominating Committee reported to the congregation and recommended approval of the pastoral call. We are pleased for them, but sad to be leaving them. We have been surrounded by a loving group of people, people we went to help, but who have helpted us much more than we have helped them. One of the interesting things is that I was drawn to send them my information form when they were searching for their last pastor. What I didn't know was that my good friend who named me as one of his references had already sent his information. When someone from the church called to get a verbal reference for him, I crossed them off my list. Had I known how special the people are, I would have sent my information anyway. God works in mysterious ways!

I love it when Tommy asks me to pick up Jacob from school as he did today. Jake will be 14 in June and it's hard to realize he's gotten this age and that he's taller than I am. He doesn't say much when we go to his house, but he talks a lot when we're in the car by ourselves. The little boy sweetness is present and he tells me some of the things going on with him. When I reflect on how the years have flown, I think about the youngest of our grandchildren, Christopher and Colin. I wonder if I'll see them at Jacob's age. Will we be around? Our grandchildren are one of the grandest gifts God has given. Each is special in his or her own way and we love them very much.

Trust in God; believe that He is able to do the things He has promised; and keep your hand in His. I have to remind myself that where my children and grandchildren are concerned I need to trust God to care for them, to believe that He loves them more than I and to trust God to care for them.

Pastor Margaret

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Too Tired to Type

That's the way I feel. I could tell this afternoon that Tom had a burst of energy because he kept thinking of errands we could run, even suggesting that we go to the grocery and Sam's in one afternoon. I couldn't envision doing even one of those, but finally mustered enough energy to go buy groceries. Usually he pushes the cart so he can balance himself, but today I needed somewhere to prop. Along with the usual chemo fatigue, this toothache is driving me nuts. I'm not really sure who has talked to whom, but the bottom line coming out of the oncology clinic and some unnamed oral surgeon is not to touch me at this time. I have to be off the Avastin for six weeks before a root canal or extraction, but could have a crown. The problem there is no one knows what is necessary until the drilling is done and then there is no turning back. And then, there is the knowledge that cancer treatment needs to be administered on a consistent schedule, which raises the question of how does being off the drug six weeeks will affect its effectivness? Who knew a trip to the dentist could cause such a problem? Heat and pain pills are prescribed for now. We're hoping we'll get some satisfactory solution this week.

We miss the sounds of little feet and little voices that filled our house last week. I know they were all glad to get home to familiar surroundings--beds, toys, pets. It doesn't take much to get used to them in the house!

There's good news and bad news for the Humboldt church. The good news is that the Committee on Ministry approved the call of a new pastor in the next couple of months. The congregation still has to vote and Presbytery has to approve COM's recommendation. We have treasured our year with them and friendships made will remain a part of our lives. The bad news is that one of the precious daughters of the church, elder, teacher, friend had surgery for ovarian cancer yesterday and the prognosis is not the most promising. Please pray for Susan and that God will use me and my experience to encourage and support her.

Tomorrow, nationally known Disciples of Christ pastor and Humboldt native, Fred Craddock will fill our pulpit. I have the privilege of assisting him. He was somewhat of a mentor to the minister with whom I did my internship so I was assigned lots of his articles and commentaries to read and consult. I can't wait to share worship with him.

Last week I watched my daughter with an amazing amount of energy and I wondered if I ever had that much. I wondered what it was like to bounce up and down off the floor like her two year old can. Did I ever do that? Lack of energy is one thing I hate the most about cancer and the treatment for it. Planning meals, going to the store and spending the day in the kitchen cooking for my family used to give me great pleasure. Now, I'd almost rather not eat than go through all the steps to get a meal ready. While Marty was here, Tommy pulled up carpet in their den and hallway, stripped the glue etc. and refinished the floors---and then put all the furniture back by himself. Before he was finished, he was extremely sore and pollen and dust from the floors got the best of him, but I felt bad that there was nothing I could do to help him. I never thought I'd succomb to old age or illness, but the time is near. In my head and in my heart I'm young, healthy and in charge; in reality I'm none of these. The years keep adding up; the health is not good, but better than we thought it would be, but a concern, nevertheless; and God is in charge which is best of all. That should be my focus!!

I need to say thanks to each of you once again for reading, for praying, for being our friends. Please don't stop.
Pastor Margaret

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Blogs

There have been no blogs coming from this source in several days. Marty and family came last Tuesday evening and were here until about noon on Saturday. Everything was put on hold while they were here except those things which were absolutely essential. They returned to Raleigh last night, being so tired of the car they don't want to be in it again for a while. I can understand why. Big sister Mallory is a delightful young lady--very polite, very helpful and a natural with the little boys. Christopher is busy! I see a lot of his mother in him. Colin is precious and his smiles kept us wrapped around his little fingers. Honestly, I don't know how Marty gets anything done! We loved having them visit and look forward to the next time.

Marty and Colin went to Corinth with me for treatment last Friday while Tom stayed here and went to the train museum with the others. I didn't realize that OSHA doesn't allow children under age 12 in the infusion room because of the danger of toxic substances/fumes. The nurse did let Marty and Colin come back to survey the surroundings, meet the personnel then they went back out front. I love the nurses and techs and wanted Marty to see for herself just how great they are.

Yesterday Tom and I had six month dental checkups. I have never looked forward to a dental appointment as much as I did that one. I have had a sensitive section in my mouth for a little over a month and was anxious to get it seen about. Unfortunately, it's a rather large cavity that needs a crown to fix it---or a root canal---or just pull the tooth. We won't know until the drilling begins and to do that, I have to have an okay from the oncologist because of one drug I'm taking. I'm waiting to hear back from him now, but have an appointment for Friday, with the hope it will be okay.

Our around the corner grands were gone for a week to see their Mimi and Pop in Natchez. They had a terrific time and the weather was perfect for playing outside. Liz's parents live on a lake across the Mississippi from Natchez and spend lots of time fishing when they are there. Sarah, who is nine caught a 4 1/2 pound catfish! I'm glad they could go and have such a good time, but we did miss them.

Preparations are beginning to wind down as the church I have been supplying is in the final stages of calling a pastor. We have such mixed emotions! In the year that we have been there, we have become very attached to the members. Their encouragement, support and prayers have sustained us in some really difficult days this year. On the other hand, we are glad that they will have an installed pastor to help them on their journey. Tom and I will return to 1st Pres, Jackson and get re-involved here. I have taught a women's circle all year and hope to offer a small group experience during the summer. There may be an opportunity for another temporary supply call, but the church mentioned is over an hour's drive from here and I'm reluctant to take that on. God has blessed us with our Humboldt friends, we will miss them and I will miss the ministry!

That's about it for today. We are still basking in the glory of Easter and trying to live as Easter people in this Good Friday world.

Pastor Margaret

Monday, April 05, 2010


Yesterday was Easter, the highlight of the Christian year. Since I have only been ordained a little more than ten years and since my years as an installed pastor were spent as an associate, I have never preached the Easter sermon before yesterday. I was so excited to share the good news that I could hardly wait!!!! I may never get to make the "He is risen" proclamation again. I wanted everyone to know how that knowledge guides and informs my life! It was a glorious day!!

Our grands around the corner have gone to Mississippi to spend time with their other grandparents and our grands from North Carolina don't arrive until tomorrow. We didn't dye or hide eggs, we didn't buy candy and we didn't have a big Easter dinner. Instead, we napped off and on all afternoon and Tommy came about seven for supper. We cooked steak and baked potato and I made lemon icebox pie for dessert. It was quiet and easy. But I missed family!!

Tommy took the week off to refinish the floors in their den and hall. Times like this I wish I had the energy I used to have so I could help him. He did say that I could come with a dust rag and help get up the fine film the sanding leaves on everything.

The NCAA Basketball Championship is being played tonight. Who would have thought it would have been Butler vs. Duke? Butler has been one of those "in the wings" teams, biding their time until they made it all the way? The tournament games have been interesting to watch, though the SEC imploded. As much as I love college basketball, I do not believe in "anything goes" to make a winning team and I suspect two coaches I will not name, are guilty of winning above all else. May the best team win!

Our dogwood in the front is in full bloom. It will be a welcoming sight when Marty and Kevin drive up tomorrow--so will the purple weeds. We learned last Friday that our yard man has gotten out of the yard business and we missed the letter. Now we're in the process of trying to find a new person. Last week I bought new yard toys so hope the yard can be cut so the children can play outside.

Easter brings excitement, Spring brings beauty and being with our family is best of all!

Pastor Margaret